Craft beer’s increasing popularity has left a lot of breweries scrambling to keep up with demand and juggling production schedules. If they make high gravity beer with an intense amount of ingredients, the stress is even greater. This year we’ve scene several high profile breweries pull distribution in markets around the country, including Dogfish Head and Flying Dog. Other breweries have chosen a different strategy.
This was the case late last week when Lagunitas Brewing announced that Brown Shugga’ would get axed from this year’s holiday lineup and be replaced by a new holiday ale. In addition, Hairy Eyeball’s availability will be cut 50%. It’s certainly disappointing to fans of both beers, but brewery owner Tony Magee provided a frank assessment of the situation on Beer Advocate that may calm a few nerves.
“This sad holiday season we didn’t have the brewing capacity to make our favorite seasonal brew, the widely feared, BrownShugga’ Ale. You see, we had a couple of really good years (thank you very much) and so heading into this season while we are awaiting the January delivery of a new 250bbl brewhouse we are jammin’ along brewing 80 barrels of IPA and PILS and Little Sumpin’ and such every 3 hours. A couple months back we realized that since we can only brew a mere 60 barrels of Shugga every 5 hours, that we were seriously screwed. For every case of Shugga’ we brewed we’d short 3 cases of our favorite daily beers. It’s a drag. This year, we brewed sumpin’ that we think is also cool and brews more like our daily brews. The new brewhouse will help insure that this kind of failure never occurs again. It’s a mess that we can not brew our Shugga’ this year and we suck for not doing it. There is nothing cool about screwing up this badly and we know it. Maybe we can sue our own sorry selves. There is no joy in our hearts this holiday and the best we can hope for is a quick and merciful end. F*@& us. This totally blows. Whatever. We freaking munch moldy donkey butt and we just want it all to be over…”
You gotta love the brutal honesty and self deprecating humor. So what’s the new holiday beer going to be called? In typical Lagunitas style it’s been dubbed “Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale.”